Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
FM 22:3 (Summer 2005) p. 105
BibleWorks. Version 6.0.01 programmed by Michael S. Bushell and Michael D. Tan. Norfolk VA: BibleWorks, 2003.
By the grace of the editors a few years ago, I was introduced to BibleWorks 5 and loved the program. I quickly started using a competitor’s program (one that I had used for years) less and less. With the introduction of BibleWorks 6, I was anticipating great things and for the most part was not disappointed.
Some features that BibleWorks 6 displays we have come to expect from any program. This includes: the parsing of original languages, dictionaries and lexicons, concordance features and statistical information (word frequency and grammatical forms). BibleWorks 6 does these superbly and at blazing speed (it even brags about it in the tool bar). Not only is there an info widow that parses and locates the lexical entry of a word by simply passing the cursor over it (in original languages), but there is also a pop-up gloss window that can do the same, even in some selected English versions. (I personally found the pop-up window irritating and have disabled it.) One only has to spend a few minutes on the program to recognize the help that morphologically tagged databases afford (and amazement at the labor that produced lexicons and concordances by hand). My impression of BibleWorks 6 is that the base function of a computer Bible program are executed nearly flawlessly.
The other features of BibleWorks are worthy of note. The sheer volume of what is available is impressive. First, the unlocked items: Most conspicuous is the copious number of Bible versions (both original languages and translations). The program boasts ninety-two translations in twenty-eight languages (often there are multiple versions of a translation—e.g., the NASB appears in both the 1977 version and the 1995 update, and the KJV appears in three versions). In original languages the program offers several Hebrew/Aramaic texts and a useful variety of Greek Texts (including several versions of the eclectic text and majority texts, and Rahlf’s Greek version and Brenton’s English translation of the LXX). Finally, a few of the early versions of the NT are offered, including the Peshitta, Vulgate, and (although admittedly not early) the Salkinson-Ginsburg Hebrew NT.
For deeper research, the program also offers the Apostolic Fathers, Josephus (along with the 1828 English translation by Whiston, and the Targumim. One can find an editable synopsis of the four Gospels, color-coded comparisons between texts (especially helpful in identifying variants that are not recorded in certain critical apparati), Bible timelines, and Metzger’s Bible outline.
FM 22:3 (Summer 2005) p. 106
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